I just read the news that HBO has hired former Showtime executive & Vice President Ken Hershman. I applaud HBO for recognizing a man that knows the sport and does what's best for the fans. I hope Ken brings his "Great Fights No Rights" policy to HBO. Maybe even a Super Six. Congrats to Ken and to HBO for their great new edition, now if they can do something about Al Haymon we’re set.
Onto this weekend’s PPV:
Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson is not a PPV fight but I won’t hate because if there's anyone who deserves to be in a PPV show it’s B-Hop. I just hope he starts to deliver exciting fights as he promises to do now.
Antonio DeMarco vs. Jorge Linares:
I been high on DeMarco since his upset win over Kid Diamond, and I even picked him to beat Edwin Valero, but boy was I wrong about that one. You picked Valero and hit the nail on the head and this time you are picking Linares so I won’t be shocked to see a Linares victory, but I strongly believe DeMarco is more ready for a title shot now then he was when he faced Valero. So we will see.
Holt vs Garcia is a great fight also.
Malignaggi fights former Mexican Olympian Orlando Lora, in a crossroads fight. I wonder if Paulie is making sure the judges aren’t Golden Boy's gophers…
Hope you have a great weekend. Take care. — Jorge – San Diego
Hmmm, something tells me Malignaggi doesn’t view guys like Raul Caiz Sr. as GBP gophers any more. Lora’s promoter, Gary Shaw, does most of his shows in Southern California so even though he’s based in New Jersey it’s like the “Shaw-riff” is a local promoter. He’s very familiar with all the local officials and he knows who to “OK“ and who to “reject,” so I don’t expect any home cooking on Saturday. Lora, by the way, is a big dude. I hope Paulie’s hands are healthy and he’s in shape for tomorrow’s PPV kick-off bout.
I think Holt-Garcia will feature multiple knockdowns before ending in a KO, and my guess is that both junior welters will hit the deck. I’m going with Holt, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the kid gets it done. If Garcia wins I will be very impressed.
I agree that DeMarco (one of the nicest individuals you’ll ever meet) is more prepared for his second shot at a major title than he was when he faced Valero but I don’t think it will make a difference against Linares who I believe will win by unanimous decision. However, I don’t envision Linares completely dominating DeMarco. I think it will be a competitive and engaging fight. Linares won’t be as aggressive as his late countryman was against DeMarco, but he’ll be more elusive and mobile. Linares has a way of wearing guys down as they pursue him, but DeMarco might have moments while trying to cut the ring off on the stick-and-move stylist. I think you’re going to be proud of DeMarco’s effort but I bet you’ll really like what you see from Linares.
Regarding the main event, both Hopkins and Dawson claim that they are going to box aggressively so we’ll see how it plays out. I don’t see a fight of the year candidate but I think the bout will have it’s share of drama and intense moments.
I don’t expect Hopkins and Dawson to fight like Micky Ward and Arturo Gatti. They’re boxers by nature and I plan to appreciate their ring generalship. Besides my blood lust will probably be satisfied by one or more of the undercard bouts.
I’m going to be at my press row seat from the very first fight of the eight-bout card because they are all good matchups.
Regarding Hershman’s move to HBO, how can it not be a boon to the network and hardcore fight fans? The former Showtime boxing czar knows how to make quality matches with a much smaller budget than he will now manage, and he won’t neglect certain weight classes (such as bantamweight and cruiserweight) as HBO’s former sports honchos did.
I don’t know if I want to see the Super Six concept on HBO. I’ve enjoyed the 168-pound tournament and I think it’s ultimately been good for the sport but I don’t think I have the patience for another one. I’d prefer more four-man single-elimination tournaments.
Two things: I think you should give some credit to the late Jay Larkin (who Hershman replaced at Showtime) for the “Great Fights, No Rights” concept, and I don’t think Haymon is at fault for any of the ills of the sport. He’s just a shrewd and powerful manager, no different from Shelly Finkel during the late 1980s through to the first part of the last decade. If HBO bent over backward for the concert promoter that’s on them, not Al. Haymon’s doing what fighters pay their managers to do — look out for them and get them paid well.
HERSHMAN, SUPER SIX, HOPKINS
I half-jokingly predicted back in 2009 that Hopkins would fight the winner of the eventual winner of the Super Six…. 2 years later Dawson is the only man standing between Hopkins and the Andre Ward/Carl Froch winner. I'm drinking the Kool-aid on Hopkins going chindown and pushing Dawson past his comfort zone.
It’s an exciting time at 168 and 175 and Ken Hershman deserves credit for getting us here. Do you think his move to HBO is a net gain for boxing? It’s tough to anticipate how a weaker Showtime and stronger HBO impacts the quantity/quality of fights that get made as a result of this move.
(P.S. – which is the greater moniker, Motor City Cobra or The Hitman?)
Peace. — Adam, Whitby, Canada
I always liked the ring that “Motor City Cobra” had. That moniker also harkened back to the old days when standout fighter’s nicknames were tied to the region they hailed from, such as “The Michigan Assassin,” “The Manassa Mauler” and “The Bronx Bull.”
Hershman definitely deserves credit for mixing things up in the super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions in recent yeas (at least here in the States). I absolutely think his move to HBO is good for the sport. For starters, I think it lets us know that the network is still committed to the sport. Hershman’s a smart and innovative guy who understands how the sport works and knows a good matchup when it’s proposed. Hey, the folks at HBO sports could have put on the Israel Vazquez-Rafael Marquez trilogy, they just didn’t care to. They probably didn’t know who they were.
I have no idea how Hershman’s departure will effect Showtime’s boxing programming but I hope it doesn’t weaken it. That network has been the launching pad for countless boxing stars over the past 15-20 years. We need it to stay strong.
HOPKINS-DAWSON: I MUSTA FORGOT
I had completely forgotten that the Hopkins-Dawson fight was on pay per view. I would have been looking forward to seeing it, but now I can honestly say that I'm planning on skipping it. What kind of sales do you think it will have, poor or none?
Also, I went to Nonito Donaire's open workout last weekend, and saw him do some actual sparring with a pair of fighters, Roman Morales and Jamelle Parrom, who gave him some pretty good work. He cut the session off after 8 or 9 rounds, and Victor Conte, his nutritionist, looked concerned about his stamina.
Nonito actually MC's his own media workouts with a headset microphone, narrating the proceedings and fielding questions from the audience while he stretches out and wraps his hands. Do other fighters do that? I feel like, if they could figure out a way to attach the microphone to his headgear, he would continue to MC while sparring.
I hear there's another war of words going on now between Nonito's trainer, Robert Garcia, and Freddie Roach.
Lastly, I stumbled onto another Jack Kirby omnibus edition on Amazon recently. It's comprised of his 50's era work with DC on Green Arrow and various horror style comics. Have you read any of that material? — gopal rao
I haven’t heard of this new Kirby omnibus but now that I’m almost done reading the hardcover collections of Alan Moore’s legendary run on “Saga of the Swamp Thing,” I’m ready to find a new bedtime/bathroom read. The other Kirby collections I have are of his “cosmic” stuff from 1970s (“The Fourth World/New Gods” metaseries he did for DC early in the decade, and “the Eternals” run he had when he returned to Marvel). I was going to check out his “O.M.A.C” omnibus, but I think Kirby’s stuff from the ‘50s might be more fun.
I gotta be real with you, Gopal, I don’t pay much attention to “word wars,” especially when they don’t involve active fighters.
No, most fighters do not MC their own media workouts. Most wouldn’t think or care to do something like that and most lack the bright personality Nonito is gifted with.
I’m sure Donaire will have the proper amount of conditioning to take care of business against Narvaez next Saturday. I’m anxious to see “The Filipino Flash” in action again. It’s been too long!
I think Hopkins-Dawson will do between 250,000-300,000, which the promoters involved may view as a disappointment but it really isn’t that bad for a pay-per-view fight that nobody asked for, and for one that took place one month after a big PPV event (Mayweather-Ortiz) and precedes two more PPV biggies (Pacquiao-Marquez III and Cotto-Margarito II), which tap into huge nationalistic followings and the sport’s hardcore base.